Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network
(CASCFEN), Azerbaijan
Aug 31 2004

Protest action of Armenian journalists

Yerevan, 28 Aug 2004 -- Representatives of mass media of Armenia
today held an action of protest in the resort town of Tsakhkadzor,
which was aimed against the building of elite cottages in the forests
near the town.

ARMINFO's correspondent informs from Tsakhkadzor, Advisor of the
president of Armenia for fight against corruption Bagrat Yesayan joined
the journalists on the way. Yesayan said that he had come to get
acquainted with the situation in the place. Talking to journalists
he did not exclude that the trees are cut down for carrying out
construction works there. But he mentioned that this process must
be regulated by a relevant legislation. Yesayan expressed hope that
similar actions will promote increase of awareness of the society
about the processes taking place in the republic. The advisor of the
president condemned the recent incident when the guard of one of the
elite cottages beat journalists who had tried to take a photograph
of the territory guarded.

During the journalistic "round" a group of policemen headed by the
Head of the Police of Hrazdan district Hunanian, tried to drive the
"uninvited" guests out of the territory. After a talk of Bagrat Yesayan
with the policemen tete-a-tete the employees of the police desponded
to clear the territory from the journalists, and the shoot was resumed.

It should be noted that these villas belong to high-ranking officials
of the country (Deputy Head of the Service of Police Armen Yeritsian,
Head of the Administration of Kotayk region Kovalenko Shahgaldian,
Head of Customs Committee Armen Avetisian) and deputies of the National
Assembly of Armenia Levon Sargsian and Gagik Tsarukian.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress